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Imagine Dragon leads McCarthy hat trick at Meadowlands
Friday, November 04, 2016 - by James Witherite, Meadowlands racing media

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East Rutherford, NJ --- After a traffic-troubled Breeders Crown elimination two weeks ago, Lindy Farms’ Imagine Dragon ($8.00) used a sustained middle move to take charge amid a fast pace before edging away to a 1:50.4 victory in Friday (Nov. 4) evening’s $17,500 top-level distaff pace at The Meadowlands.

Lisa photo
Imagine Dragon and Andy McCarthy won the featured $17,500 distaff pace on Friday at The Meadowlands.

The 4-year-old Dragon Again mare slipstreamed the live cover of 8-5 favorite Icommandmyspirit (Corey Callahan) on approach to the backstretch before continuing her push to the fore into a :54 first half-mile. From that point, Imagine Dragon repelled a mild first-over challenge from Exhilarated (Scott Zeron) before accelerating away off the far turn. Ultimately, Imagine Dragon used a :27.4 closing sectional to evade the late-emerging Lyons River Pride (Steve Smith) by 2-1/4 lengths, while Icommandmyspirit held third while one-paced from the pocket.

“It’s really nice to see Imagine Dragon continue in top form after having no luck in her Breeders Crown elimination," said trainer Frank Antonacci of the eight-time winner. “Unfortunately, she tied up badly in the beginning of the season, and that kept her from reaching her real potential this year. It’s nice to see her come around now.”

For driver Andy McCarthy, the featured win was one of three on the night; he also teamed up with Kona Kid ($7.00, 1:53.2) and Stitch In Time ($28.20, 1:56) to lead all drivers.

The evening’s trotting feature, a $15,000 conditioned event, saw Lady’s Dude ($9.40) take advantage of a pocket trip behind odds-on favorite Rock Of Cashel and vault clear after a mid-stretch move, drawing off decisively by 5-1/4 lengths en route to a 1:52.2 victory. Jim Marohn Jr. drove the 5-year-old Victory Sam gelding for trainer Ron Burke. Rock Of Cashel (Scott Zeron) just held second from the ground-saving Aldebaran Eagle (McCarthy), who saved third once room availed in deep stretch.

The C.K.G. Billings series for amateur drivers made a stop at the Big M in the night’s first event, and Sky Hanover ($2.80) proved dominant following her sweeping four-wide move off the far turn to put eight lengths on the field. Sarah Svanstedt drove the 4-year-old Donato Hanover mare to a 1:55.4 victory for trainer Åke Svanstedt.

Total all-sources handle for the 12-race card was $2,185,999.

Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Saturday (Nov. 5) evening, with a quartet of Kindergarten Classic finals headlining the 13-race card. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EDT).

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